In an attempt to break the ice when encountering new people, we often start with sharing our taste in music. Whether we have same preference or not, because it is not an issue of right or wrong in this matter but of having emotional responses to music, music brings people together in harmony in a way. By sharing our experience in listening to music, we feel very much alike just by the fact that music has certain impact on our lives.
Listening to the same music, with the same lyrics and melody lines, people have different reactions and opinions for it. Singing the same music, again, with the same lyrics and melody lines, the singers come up with various interpretations when performing. In line with our discussion on what a good text is, a good music is open to everyone and evokes countless different emotions depending on who’s listening, or singing, the same piece. Music can literally change people in various ways.
In this sense, poetry is very equivalent to music. Having the musical elements within the texts, poetry sends out messages and imposes influences on the readers in its peculiar manner. Often our emotions are hard to be put in words or in proper grammar. They are too complex to be portrayed completely. Thus, I believe that the most descriptive writing can get is by being poetic. In poetry, every element in writing is somehow intentionally utilized in order to express the author’s emotions and thoughts. The structure, repetition in words or phrases, rhythmical selection of words, length of a poem, and even grammar are few of so many tools that can be used, but there are so less restrictions in poetry. Without revising too much, we can “show not tell” how we feel through poetry, spontaneously expressing us as an individual.
This familiarity and quite universal influence of music, therefore, can readily be utilized as “a force of control and an instrument of instruction” by anyone who is in power. Some of the religious schools in Korea that are academically superior have certain amount of students who are not religious but have come to take advantage of the academic prestige and the abundant resources of this school. Technically speaking, of course it is illegal to enforce a particular religion on someone, so the school relives the student saying that they won’t have classes covering religion because it is obvious that the lecture would be skewed in some way. However, all students are required to stand up and just listen to hymns every morning. They are not obliged to pay attention or memorize the lyrics; they just have to stand up and listen for a while. Some might overlook the impact of this daily routine activity. Surprisingly, however, in turned out that just by this brief exposure to some religious songs, many unreligious people have expressed interest in religion.
In short, the common trait that poetry and music share is that both of them inconspicuously seep into our lives and influence our perception/thoughts, and this feature of them can either act as an outlet of emotion or a source of power exerted upon us.